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Challenge: Finding Your Voice as a Parent

You've got to trust your mama gut

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There is this voice inside of each of us, mamas.

A voice that guides us each day as we navigate the bewildering, anxiety-provoking, overwhelming, exciting, and fulfilling adventure that is motherhood.

If you asked many of our spouses, or at least mine, he'd joke that I've got many a voice (and personality) goin' on up in that overpacked brain of mine.

But, all kidding aside, that voice inside of each of us that helps us to make decisions, it's vital, and we need to listen to it.

You've got to trust your mama gut.

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Trust it.

TRUST IT.

Trust it just like I did today when I ventured out to Target for some back-to-school shopping with my three kids.

This afternoon, after crossing off supply lists and gathering the numerous items we needed, I took my children to the kids' clothing department to check out the school uniform options.

As mamas, no matter where we are, if any of our kids are in tow, we are in full mama bear mode, scouring the perimeter for any imminent danger -- real or perceived.

Today, I sensed danger.

Is that me being overdramatic?

Maybe, but I really don't think so.

As the four of us made our way to the kids' clothing area, I saw a man acting sketchy. I can't really describe it any better than that other than to say that his movements were awkward yet deliberate, and he would move fast through an aisle, then stop and kind of hide and peek. He had an earpiece in one ear and a phone in his hand that he didn't seem to be paying attention to.

He noticed me.

He noticed me, noticing him, and I didn't get a good vibe.

I immediately felt a bit unsafe, uncomfortable, and incredibly protective of my thankfully on this day, well-behaved love nuggets.

There was a second man who the first man seemed to be watching who was also acting funny. He seemed a bit "out of it" and looked like he may be trying to steal.

Maybe all of this was just a case of two grown men stealing, but my gut told me something else might have been going on -- like perhaps the one guy was intending to look like he was going to steal as a distraction so that this other man could do something.

This is just conjecture.

I have no idea what was really going on, nor am I aware of the outcome.

All I know is for a few minutes, I absolutely felt uneasy and a tad unsafe.

So, my typically non-confrontational being found a male Target employee and informed him about the gentlemen and how I felt something was "not right."

To my surprise, he informed me that store security was already aware of the two men and watching them. As I looked around a bit more, I started to notice what seemed like more employees than usual walking around ensuring the safety of their customers and inconspicuously keeping an eye the creepers.

Needless to say, I decided it was smart to head to the checkout line and book it out of there as soon as possible.

As I said, I have no idea what was going down, but I sure as hell knew that whatever it was, it wasn't good and I didn't want my kids (or myself) around it.

I trusted my mama gut when it told me that something wasn't right.

I trusted my mama gut to speak up and inform a Target employee that I was uncomfortable.

But, even before today, I've trusted my mama gut on a whole heck of a lot of occasions and I'd affirm that 85% of the time, it has served me well.

So, please, mamas, trust your gut.

Trust it when it tells you to pick up your crying child.

Trust it when it tells you to put down your child and give those tired arms a break.

Trust it when it tells you to keep move forward on your breastfeeding journey.

Trust it when it tells you that it's time to wean.

Trust it when it tells you it's okay to co-sleep.

Trust it when it tells you co-sleeping is no longer a good idea.

Trust it when it tells you to let your child nap.

Trust it when it tells you it's time for you to help your child give up those precious naps.

Trust it when it tells you that your child's fever is something more.

Trust it when it tells you to advocate for your child's needs when it comes to their education.

Trust it when it tells you to give your child their pacifier.

Trust it when it tells you that it's time to take it away.

Trust it when it tells you to stay home from work to be with your kids.

Trust it when it tells you it's time to rejoin the workforce or go into business for yourself.

Trust it when it tells that your child needs more independence.

Trust it when it tells you that you need some as well.

Trust it when it tells you to take your kids and hold on to them for dear life, 'cause we all know, that is what they are, and that is what they give us mamas

-- LIFE --

and I will protect my children's with every fiber of my being.

Just trust your mama, gut -- all day, every day -- because even if and when you are ever wrong, you're still right because you make each and every decision with your children's best interest at heart.

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